The Real World

So the fall Holy Days are over again.

There’s never any way around it—the Feast of Tabernacles that we wait for with such eager anticipation ends so much quicker than we would like, and as we reminisce fondly over the past week’s memories, we tell ourselves the lie.

We mean it innocently. I’ve said it. You’ve probably said it. I imagine all of God’s children have at some point looked at the bleak prospect of returning to an unforgiving daily grind and uttered a variation of the phrase: “Oh well. Time to get back to the real world.”

The real world. Is that what we come back to?

Satan would love nothing more than for us to believe in our hearts that the world around us is the real one—that an entire planet drenched in corruption and wickedness is the world to which we must inevitably return. He wants us convinced that God’s Holy Days are only temporary breathers from the damage Satan has done and continues to do. If that is the case, then all God can really do is provide us with fleeting breaks from Satan’s world.

But I don’t think you and I really believe that. I don’t think we believe that God’s promises are imaginary or fantastical and only good for a temporary escape from Satan’s influence. But if we don’t think that, then why do we think of the world around us as the “real” world—as the world we are bound to return to? Will our duties at our places of employment somehow be preserved beyond the rise and fall of empires? Do we believe that our utility bills will somehow transcend the depths of time and space?

Have we convinced ourselves that any physical component of this life is in any way permanent?

Peter warned, “the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10). This world, led in its majority by Satan the devil, our adversary and the accuser of our brethren, will one day find itself consumed into nothingness to make room for something far greater—the real real world.

Photo of Park City, UT by Mary Lallier
Everything—everything—you and I know about this physical world will one day be disintegrated in a universally engulfing flame. And yet for some reason we default to calling it the “real” world. Granted, we can touch and see and hear it. Our limited human senses allow us to interact with and observe it, so it certainly appears the most real to us. But God’s word makes it clear that mankind’s disobedience and Satan’s influence have corrupted life as we know it to the point where God will establish “a new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1) after putting an end to the corruption and imperfection to which we have become accustomed.

When we went our separate ways after the close of the Last Great Day, we didn’t come back to the real world. The picture God helped us paint of His millennial reign and His plan for all humanity is a divine glimpse into the realest of worlds. What we’ve returned to is a deception and a lie perpetrated by a being that wants desperately to destroy our hope and calling. We can’t afford to think of it as the real world because it isn’t. It is temporary; it is fleeting. It is a training ground God is using to prepare us for the real world to come.

This past Feast of Tabernacles wasn’t a break, and it wasn’t a vacation. It was a reminder of what the real world will be like, and perhaps most importantly, a reminder that we are not heading back to it, but toward it. Don’t let go of that vision. Don’t let it fade into the back of your mind. Grasp it like you would grasp a rope lowered down to rescue you from the darkest of pits, and keep it always beside you to remind yourself of who we are, why we’re here, and what we’re fighting for.

Onward, Christian soldiers!

Until next time,

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